If you’re strolling down Bandra’s bustling Bazaar Road, you may come across a chalk board proffering some tongue-in-cheek advice (see image). The board was put up by the husband and wife pair of Clarence and Gloria Gomes outside their home-office four years ago, when they started their community paper Bandra Times. Ever since, the messages on the board have been the subject of several Facebook and Instagram posts.
“There’s so much negativity and criticism everywhere you go today,” says Gloria Gomes, editor of the bi-monthly paper that carries local news that is positive and uplifting. For instance, the publication has carried articles on Bandra school teachers who are local legends and heroes from the Bandra Police. “We wanted the hundreds of people who pass by our door to pause, laugh and leave with something to think about. It has also generated some interest in the paper. We now have a readership of 3,000, but that’s not why we do it. Whatever Bandra has given us, we wanted to give back.”
There’s a new thought on the board every Monday and Clarence Gomes, who usually writes the notes and was partly inspired by similar signs put up by churches across the city, keeps the messages in tune with changing festivals and seasons. Previous posts have included nuggets of wisdom that range from the quirky – “Scotch is a brilliant invention. One double peg and you start feeling single again” – to the more serious – “Speak in such a way that others love to listen to you. Listen in such a way that others love to speak to you”.